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Police protection improves

WOODLAND – There’s a new police car in town.

On Thursday, Woodland Police Chief Don Ryan and other town officials sat down with Susan Christensen, an Area Specialist with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development office in Edenton, to finalize the purchase of a new police car.

Christensen presented a check in the amount of $42,250 to Mayor Jay Jenkins and Ryan. Of the money that has been allocated to the town, $22,250 is a USDA loan while the remainder is in the form of a grant.

“The purchase of this vehicle will allow the town to be more responsive in providing police protection to the residents of Woodland and the immediate surrounding area, as well as provide safer transportation for the police officers,” said Christensen.

Christensen said the process of obtaining the new vehicle began in May 2006.

For Ryan, the vehicle has been long time coming.

The new Dodge Charger will replace a temperamental 2003 Ford Crown Victoria with 90,000 miles on it and would often not start. The town was also experiencing high costs to maintain that vehicle.

Woodland Police Department (WPD) also has a 2001 Crown Victoria, but the Dodge Charger will be the primary police vehicle.

As for the new vehicle, the latest police equipment can be found on the interior.

“It has everything a police car could have,” said Ryan.

Ryan said the vehicle is equipped with the latest technology to keep officers and citizens safe, including a high definition dashboard camera, computer and printer. The vehicle also features the new Electronic Stability Program (ESP), which improves the vehicle’s handling by intervening at the limits of traction and helping the driver maintain control.

The Dodge Charger, outfitted with a Hemi engine, will get 19 to 26 miles per gallon compared to the Crown Victoria at 11 miles per gallon.

Ryan said along with the town adding four part time officer positions to WPD, the new police car will “obviously” make his job a little easier.

“We needed one desperately,” he said. “It’s a big relief for me.”

Ryan also thanked Christensen for her work in securing the funding for the vehicle.

“Susan has been absolutely wonderful,” he said. “She’s been very, very helpful.”